Arresting Swimmers

The Okaloosa Sheriff, Larry Ashley, announced that he both can and will arrest swimmers if they venture out when a double red flag is posted on the beach.

This is a typical, but wrong, reaction to the problem of people drowning at the beach.

People own their bodies and must be held responsible for their own actions. People who swim when it is dangerous are making a personal decision to assume risk. For government to say they cannot accept another’s personal risk is the height of the nanny state. To imprison people for swimming at their risk is morally abhorrent. It leads to limitless government.

If the road to hell is paved with good intentions, the Sheriff is shovel ready.

Better to present drowners with the bill. A foolish person who must be rescued and then pay the hefty monetary cost would make a far better deterrent, and less costly to the taxpayer, than marking them forever in the prison system, limiting their future job opportunities and exposing them to the never-ending dangers and costs that living as a lawbreaker brings nowadays.

Clearly, Larry Ashley does not like libertarian concepts. He arrests swimmers doing a personal, voluntary activity, but condones government agents at the airport forcing old women to remove their adult diapers for inspection. Go figure.

It is even more incredible that the law doesn’t like them either.

Pete Blome

Chair, Northwest Florida Libertarian Party